In Homecoming — Greatest Hits! ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS work in collaboration with 13 Queer artists who specialise in music, film, image, and text to create a constellation of artworks in response to the Queer language Damiá and the political and artistic questions it raises. The multi-faceted performance consists of a vinyl EP of seven original songs in Damiá, a book containing liner notes, lyrics, portraits, and essays, and a series of short films. The work is accessible digitally via a website archive — — and in limited edition analogue formats. The vinyl EP and accompanying book will be released on 08 December 2022 at a free live listening event at Queer community-space Aquarium, Berlin. Postal copies of the EP and book can also be requested, free of charge*. Please email us with your name and delivery address.  

Homecoming — Greatest Hits! explores alternatives to the on-stage premiere and in-person ensemble work, and is the next chapter in ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS’ long-term exploration of Queer identity through Damiá — a Queer language created by Aslan since they were 13 years old. Damiá has a grammar, dictionary, and a small but growing number of learners. It has only ever been spoken by Queer people. The language can be used as an artistic and philosophical tool to engage with questions of Queer identity, Queer belonging, and Queer separatism. It acts as a sci-fi lens between fact and fiction and an experimental act of worldmaking that asks: Who are we? Who could we be? This latest exploration is also inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science-fiction worldmaking Always Coming Home (1985), an archaeology of a potential future, a historiography of a troubled utopia, and the search for a brand new ‘home’.

The online Damiá dictionary is available at:

*Digital streaming and downloads can be made free of chage at Bandcamp from 02 December 2022. Limited analogue copies of the vinyl record and book are available free of charge, whilst stocks last. If you are resident in Berlin, please collect your copies from the live listening event on 08 December 2022 at Aquarium, Skalitzerstr. 6, 10999, from 19:00. Later collection in Berlin is also possible — please email us. Funds for postage are limited, so, depending on where you live in the world, we may request a small contribution to postage costs of analogue copies, if you are able to help.


The project publication is typeset in:,
        Roboto (thin, light, medium) — Christian Robertson (2011)
        Impact — Geoffrey Lee (1965)
        Damiá Agate (black, light) — Monika Janulevičiūtė (2022)
        Damiá Tavla — Monika Janulevičiūtė (2022)

Side A:
    Sool Ar — Amber Fasquelle
    Cecól Cor Nan — Jennifer Bell
    Neno Ios Cie Ge — Mars Dietz
    Siart Cessoi — Elie Gregory

Side B:
    Aces — Inky Lee
    Naer Appa Asesi — MINQ
    Aren Nie — Aslan

Mastering: Ro Stambuk
Vinyl production: Matter of Fact
Cover photography: Óscar González

The following films are available online:
    Onai Ioidar Sinárra — Óscar González
    Letárgiemta — Elliott Cennetoglu
    Soup Frog — Ethan Folk
    Aces — Chris Gylee

Design support: Greta Augustinaitė
Navigation texts: Mmakgosi Kgabi and Inky Lee
Hand portraits: Óscar González
Thumbnail photography: ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS

The team at Ballhaus Ost; Sandra Klöss; Trent Pehrson; Monika Janulevičiūtė; Jonas Hasselmann; Juliana Irene Smith & Arvid van de Rijt; Dominique Hurth; Rupert Enticknap; Jean P’ark; Kysy Fischer; Hiljaisuus / Silence Residency; the team at Matter of Fact; Modern Queers; the brave learners of Damiá.

Homecoming — Greatest Hits! is a ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS production In cooperation with Ballhaus Ost.Supported by the Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR. Kindly supported by Aquarium, Berlin. Production management by ehrliche arbeit — freies Kulturbüro.